It is no mystery that Palestinians rejected the notion of a Jewish State promised to Zionists in the 1917 Balfour Declaration. However, that rejection is bit of a surprise given the gains Palestinians were promised under the Declaration.
Ironically, the promise to establish a Jewish state not only led to emergence of the collective Palestinian identity we see today, but it also led to the liberation of the local Arabs from the oppressive yoke of the Ottoman Empire, which occupied that part of the Middle East from 1516 until 1918. It was not until that Declaration, which promised both the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine and no prejudice to “the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine,” that the local Arabs were first guaranteed the right to take part in a Palestinian state.
On top of that, the right to take part in a Palestinians state was far superior to the rights of all the other Arabs who would come under British rule after World War I. After the war, Britain’s other territories in the Middle East consisted of Egypt, Trans-Jordan, and Iraq, all of which were destined to become monarchies under their respective mandates. Under a monarchy the people are merely subjects of a king, with little rights if any to take part in the governance of the monarchy. There are some Monarchies, like Britain, that do offer their subjects a substantial right to govern through a parliament, but Jordan’s King Abudllah II dissolved his parliament in 2016; and the monarchies of Egypt and Iraq were respectively overthrown and replaced by dictatorships.
Tragically, Palestinians still reject the idea of a Jewish State, choosing to view the glass as half empty rather than half full.